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Communicating stereotype-relevant information: is factual information subject to the same communication biases as fictional information?

Goodman, R. L., Webb, T. L. and Stewart, A. J. (2009) Communicating stereotype-relevant information: is factual information subject to the same communication biases as fictional information? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35 (7). p. 836. ISSN 0146-1672

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Abstract

Factual information is more frequently read and discussed than fictional information. However, research on the role of communication in shaping stereotypes has focused almost exclusively on fictional narratives. In Experiments 1 and 2 a newspaper article containing information about heroin users was communicated along chains of 4 people. No stereotype-consistency bias was observed. Instead, a greater proportion of stereotype-inconsistent information was communicated than was stereotype-consistent or -neutral information. Three further experiments investigated explanations for the difference between the communication of fictional and factual information. Experiment 3 ruled out the possibility that participants' beliefs about the validity of the information could influence the way that it is communicated. Experiments 4 and 5 divided information into concrete (a specific event or fact) or abstract (opinion). A stereotype-consistency bias emerged only for abstract information. In summary, linguistic abstraction moderates whether stereotype-consistency biases emerge in the communication of stereotype-relevant factual information.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: stereotypes; communication; newspaper articles; linguistic expectancy bias; linguistic abstraction
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2010 08:52
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2010 08:52
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167209334780
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage
Identification Number: 10.1177/0146167209334780
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10768

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